I’m 58 years old
I live in a small area in Scotland.
I come from north east England
I am a holistic cat carer and professional storyteller & I love it.
I’m considered witty & quirky.
My biggest accomplishment thus far in my opinion is becoming a forest school outdoor education leader to compliment my storytelling perhaps.
I wear coloured lenses (don’t need them to correct optical vision it’s more about lowering over stimulus due to light sensitivity) my head feels better for it, I cope in lit areas better and get less exhausted.
People are often surprised I have an autistic diagnosis as 'I don't look /sound autistic' whatever that means (rain man?) I do so many weird things I doubt they are surprised if they know me. I was a rape victim-we are supposed to be ruined and quiet?
I Find voice recognition tech a boon as my writing was v v slow
A Book called ‘are you eating an orange’ by Debi brown explained difference between both autistic and allistic approaches.
Best things find is allowing myself to be me, forgiving myself for my difference if I can’t make allistic management time targets and valuing what I do well while learning to ask for how I need things presented.
What I want to tell others who are also autistic is that the world is in desperate need of originality and your differences are a source of original approaches. We need difference and creativity to be embraced now. Working together as teams we have so much to offer and can help each other to achieve. Be kind to yourself when you feel frustrated step back and breath!
There’s lot of online forums where you can share and be you and get Advice from others who have found or invented solutions for your issues! We are a community!
What made me originally recognize I might be autistic was Studying childhood development and seeing where I fitted in. Also trying out the baren Cohen test online for my partner who is v autistic. I found out my daughter and I had high scores too so started reading wider about it. Was sure she was Asperger’s but when she was at school 20 years ago it was viewed in a derogatory way and it was better for her, we pursued help via ‘gifted’ label and demanded an individual learning plan at school.
My nephew is nonverbal autistic and my family show many traits but sit in denial.
When I started to live with another very different person, we learnt strategies to help him. We couldn’t get diagnosis for him as all that was seen was depression despite me writing a 6-page analysis and even though the depression has been shown to be caused by chronic vitamin d deficiency we got no further for him.It was ironic that my doctor suggested I went for diagnosis after only a one-page list!
The reason I was diagnosed late was because They didn’t have a word for autism in those days.
If you could keen to read and write that was fine, social skills not seen as school’s responsibility.
And as a precocious kid I was left alone to get on with things my way. I read before school. Could keep up till 8 when others did silent reading and I have no idea how they did that. I learnt to speak the words in my head and still must ‘hear’ them- all is oral to me.
Eventually my strategies failed/ like taking days off sick every few weeks to recover and do work that mattered to me
And doing work in holidays and weekends. I’d end up with no time for play as I compensated
Barriers I had on getting diagnosed was funding only become available for adult assessments recently, last few years.
I took a part time post with local council (on top if my self- employment) and it so stressed me working with allistic s that I ended up at doctors with high blood pressure. I’d listed the differences between my approach to work and theirs (they are so slow!!!) and she asked if I’d like to go for diagnosis.
Signs that helped hint I’m autistic are:
*1 hour in Artificial light means 1-day rest as it overloads me
*Changing rules upsets me- decide the rules and stick to it unless everyone agrees a change is needed
*Huge attention to details and ability to do unusual cross links and deep analysis
*Can’t understand facial signals and as literal thinker believe what I hear which led me to danger on occasion
*Highly kinesthetic and oral learning style
*Super ability in smell, taste, feeling subtle energies, some thinking in pictures that animals pick up on (work in animal communication and care)
*Obsessional activities - good observer
· When I first got my diagnosis I felt A relief that it’s a ‘thing’ that’s ok to be
· Today knowing my diagnosis, I feel- I Find it frustrating I am not believed still as I am able.
I try to educate my clients gently into my needs as well as theirs: turning up out of hours can wreck my day as the routines and timetables are put out.
Not having a diagnosis for a long time made it harder to explain needs or insist on ones right without it. Still too little knowledge of practical needs of autism even with people who work with people of difference. That’s something I would like to help shift.
It seems we are the ones who must bend, and processing time is not honored.
Everyone should learn psychology so they can understand others not project their own style with force.